Eli Ridder | Report

Megan Roopnarine, running for the vice presidency of IGNITE representing the University of Guelph-Humber, told The Avro Post in an interview published on Sunday that she believes students should vote for her because she “can make a genuine change”, adding that she is “honest”.

Link: Elections 2019

“I just want to make our school a better place and I know how to get there,” the second year Media Studies student said, adding that she knows “what it means to be dedicated and to work hard.”

“Its very easy to make heavy promises with the hopes of getting elected but for me, I wholeheartedly believe I have great ideas that can truly change our campus for the better.”

Roopnarine said she has worked to be more involved on campus, working for the IGNITE promotions team, Humber Athletics and the Student Athletic Association — which she said has given her perspective on the services students are possibly missing out on.

The top three items Roopnarine will advocate “improve students’ academic experience”, assist with improving student financial security and make student lives on campus “more comfortable and enjoyable”.

If elected as vice president, Roopnarine wants to have more transparency with professors and between the student union and student body. The 19-year-old also aims to create more academic opportunities.

Making campus life more affordable, engaging Guelph-Humber students more via a community board and raising awareness for how to join or start a club on campus and advocate for a second Guelph-Humber building.

Roopnarine’s goal to get a second building for the University of Guelph-Humber is the first time since The Avro Post has started to keep track of platforms that a candidate has publicly vouched for one.

Senator-designate Danya Elsayed, who was just elected last week, wrote a report for a course that was published on GH360 that detailed an overcrowding issue at Guelph-Humber.

Roopnarine is going up against Carmen Duong and Saffiya Lulat for the vice presidency with voting that starts on Monday in-person and online.

She asked that any students with questions about her platform can email her at megan.roopnarine@gmail.com or direct message her campaign Instagram account “@VoteMeganVP“.


Full interview

Below is the full text of the interview Megan Roopnarine did with The Avro Post.

In one sentence, why should students vote for you?

I believe students should vote for me because I know I can make a genuine change in
Guelph-Humber with my dedication and ensuring that our voices as students will be
heard.

In whatever length you wish, why should students vote for you? What makes you stand out?

Students should vote for me because I’m honest. I just want to make our school a better place and I know how to get there. I know what it means to be dedicated and to work hard. It’s very easy to make heavy promises with the hopes of getting elected but for me, I wholeheartedly believe I have great ideas that can truly change our campus for the better.

I believe I stand out as a candidate because this past year I’ve worked very hard to be more involved on campus. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with students directly by working for IGNITE as a part of the promotions team. I’ve been able to learn about student’s concerns as well as familiarize myself with the organization and their values.

I also work for Humber Athletics with the Student Athletic Association which has once again given me the opportunity to have face to face communication with more students. It has also been great as I’ve been able to experience all the great things Humber has to offer. As a Guelph-Humber student, many of us are unaware of these opportunities or

fail to take advantage of them.

Something else I’ve put my heart and soul into has been a club I started and currently with three friends called UGH. Productions. It has truly been an amazing experience but it required lots of hard work and dedication. The four of us have committed countless hours to building this club which has been a huge responsibility and required great work ethic. It has been a great chance for us to meet new people on campus and take initiative. One of our main goals was to ensure that students had a creative outlet, a chance to expand their skills, build portfolios, and be involved on campus.

Outside of school, I also work in retail. Working in a customer service position has given me the ability to improve my interpersonal skills, work under high pressure and use effective problem-solving skills. It has also helped to improve my work ethic and practise time management.

I also volunteered with my former MPP, Yvan Baker MPP. I love taking part in politics and being socially aware. This experience has given me the opportunity to use my cooperation skills, leadership abilities, and improve my communication with the community. Once this semester is over and we’ve all finished exams I can’t wait to dive back into volunteering more often.

Through my involvements around the community and on campus, I’m still a full-time student and I work very hard to try and maintain my grades while remembering how important is to take care of your mental health. I work extremely hard to balance my time and organize my schedules. I know how important student involvement is, what it’s like to make sure you’re getting a paycheck every two weeks, and how much we value grades as students working to get our degrees and diplomas. However, you know what they say – busy is a blessing!

At the end of the day, with an 11% application increase, I want our current and new students to feel safe and accommodated accordingly through improving our academics, financial security, and making the campus more comfortable.

My goal is for the student body to know that this campaign isn’t just about me, it’s about us. I want OUR voice to be heard and I want US to be a part of change on campus.

Do think that IGNITE is effective despite scandals that have existed in the past?

I know that many students including myself have personally benefitted from what IGNITE has been able to give to the student body so far. Hopefully, with me as a vice-president, I can help make sure that IGNITE as a whole is doing everything we can to help improve student’s lives effectively.

What will you do for transparency with IGNITE?

In regards to transparency with IGNITE, I would love to help make information about our goals, services, and events more accessible. IGNITE plays a huge role in a Guelph-Humber student’s life. I think it would also be a great idea to also provide clarity as to what goals our executives are working on improving, achieving, and creating. It would be a way for the student body to understand the organization better and the work we’re trying to accomplish.

What kind of Vice President will you be?

The kind of vice president I want to be is someone who is genuine. I want to be honest with the student body and keep it real! We’re all students and we’re all struggling to keep up with our classes, work, personal lives, sleep schedules, and more. I want to contribute to improving our school and help make all of our lives a bit easier. Through perseverance, persistence, and positivity I know I can make a difference.

Are you a returning executive?

I am not a returning executive.

In simple points, what is your platform?

Top 3 things I advocate for:

1. Improve students’ academic experience 2. Help improve students’ financial security 3. Make student lives on campus more comfortable & enjoyable

Essentially, I’ll be working the following:

– More transparency between professors and students

– More transparency between IGNITE and students

– Continue to advocate for and create more academic opportunities for students

– Making campus life more affordable & improving financial security for students

– Increase student involvement and awareness of activities on campus

– Making campus more comfortable & expanding the study and seating spaces

For a more detailed version of my platform,

I want students to know that in regards to more transparency with professors,

– we need to have more of a say in which professors are teaching our courses. – We should have access to the course evaluations results. – We need to make sure we’re working closely with academic program representatives. – If certain professors aren’t performing effectively, we as students should know what is

being done to change that.

In regards to increasing transparency between IGNITE and student body,

– I believe students should be up to date with what changes are being made and how the

executives are performing. – We need to continue advocating for transparency with the student body.

For academic opportunities,

– work towards creating more opportunities for internships and certifications for students – Continue advocating for workshops, career, and networking events – making sure we’re contributing to third and fourth-year students career’s to ensure the

future of their success outside of school

In making campus life more affordable,

– Make efforts towards reducing parking costs & food costs – Help make resources like textbooks more affordable – Work with IGNITE to provide more scholarships for students to relief financial burden

For Increasing student involvement on campus,

– work on creating a community board in Guelph Humber near the elevators to increase

student involvement – ie: by making students more aware of how to join/start clubs, etc.

Making campus more comfortable & expand study & seating spaces

– increase seating and study spaces throughout GH – Continue advocating for a second GH building, our student population is continuously increasing

I would also like to continue encouraging diversity on campus, work on making Web Advisor easier to use during course selection, and to try getting a PRESTO refill machine on campus!

Is there anything else you would like to say? What else would you tell students about why they should vote for you?

In regards to my platform, I have big hopes and goals. Before I submitted my nomination

package, I sat on the idea of running for weeks. I wanted to make sure that I had authentic ideas that would benefit our school and campus.

I wanted to ensure that my campaign and my time as vice-president would be about US as a student body! I want to make sure the student’s voice is heard. I always used to think about the changes I could make on campus and I would wonder who would actually make it happen. Before I knew it, elections rolled around. I woke up one morning and thought it can be me! I can make change happen.

However, I can’t do it without your help. Help become a part of change! I want to hear YOUR voice.

Please feel free to email me at megan.roopnarine@gmail.com with any questions you may have. You can also send me a direct message on Instagram @votemeganvp!

IGNITE’s student union has completely ignored The Avro Post since August 2018, except to tell us we are ‘not sanctioned’. Will you agree to talk to the student press as a vice president?

N/A

What will your approach be to the OSAP cuts and especially the optional student fees? Will you release a line-by-line budget if elected?

In terms of budgeting, IGNITE does provide a breakdown of the costs which can be

found online. I’ve also taken the liberty to include the link (http://ignitestudentlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/F2019-Infographic.pdf). I think it is great that students have access to this information!

However, I know transparency with budgeting is still a huge concern for students, especially with the potential OSAP changes. I will make sure I continue advocating for transparency so students will continue to know where their money is going and how IGNITE uses these finances as shown in the link provided.

The potential OSAP changes in regards to optional student fees can have huge impacts on IGNITE. From insurance, scholarships, the sleeping lounge, soup bar, games room, and many other services IGNITE helps to provide for students the optional student fees are very important. Through knowing how much of an impact this can have on IGNITE as an organization, it is important that we strive for consistent transparency with the student body. Students must know how important these services are and how far their activity fee truly goes.

As a student myself who has happily used these services, I know how much of a positive impact IGNITE has made on my life.


Image of Megan Roopnarine from IGNITE.

Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He writes for Breaking911 and Guelph Politico, among others. Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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